View Full Version : Exercises/Feeding to Improve Topline

09-11-09, 10:03 PM
I have a five year old, 16hh thoroughbred who stopped racing approximately 4 months ago. I have had him for about two months and he was pretty lean. There isn't very much grass where he is kept (well it is more mud at present)

I am presently feeding him daily:

1.5kg speedibeet
4 biscuits good quality lucerne hay
2 cups full fat extruded soy
200g lucerne chaff
100ml sunflower oil
90g equilibrium

After reviewing his diet on feedxl.com i am going to add salt, and 1kg copra.

He doesn't have much muscle and I would like any ideas on exercises to improve his neck (bit of a ewe neck at moment) and building up his rump. I have tried to add photos and been unsucessful, so any tips on that as well would be great.

09-11-09, 10:51 PM
Hill work is great for muscle development, esp rump area. Long gradual inclines will do the job, both up and downhill. Trotting out steadily, and eventually some canter. Regards

09-11-09, 11:09 PM
Agreed with the hillwork, take it steady, sometimes they get unbalanced easily. Also maybe try growpack from Prydes, it is a bit expensive to buy but lasts a pretty long time, and really fattens and puts a topline on them, as well as the shiny coat. I haven't known it to heat up any of my horses yet.

09-11-09, 11:23 PM
Lungeing and riding over trot poles and cavaletti is super. Try adding plenty of long and low work whenever you ride - but make sure he's really using his back end, not just dagging along with his nose down.

Hillwork is brilliant, I have a great paddock at home that's on just a slight incline, I do a lot of flatwork out there now. It doesn't have to be a massive hill, just enough to get him moving his legs underneath him, and start out slow.
Basically any exercises that encourage him to stretch and round over his back will help to build the muscle on his topline.

I love Showtorque for conditioning. It's a complete feed so needs very little added to it - I just add roughage and salt, and a cup of Protein Pak (Pryde's) after workouts to build further muscle.

10-11-09, 11:55 AM
Hill work is excellent as others have said. If you have a round yard you can also work your horse in running reins, at a nice active trot, this gets them working long and low over the back when you use the correct setting. Doing this regularly is excellent for putting on topline.

10-11-09, 12:39 PM
thank you all so much!

i bought some trotting poles this morning and when it gets a bit cooler this afternoon am going to do some lunging and go out for a ride in search of some nice gradual slopes. :):)

10-11-09, 01:02 PM
Something to watch for when doing the trotting poles and also the hill work is that your horse isn't hollow with their head in the air.
Make sure they are working over the back and using their hindquarters well.

When lunging watch to see if the abdominal muscles are working as that is an excellent indicator of the back working well. If you don't know what this looks like or aren't sure, get someone who does to point it out for you. Once you know what to look for it is easy to see :)

That way you will be getting the best benefit out of the work you do.

10-11-09, 05:47 PM
It will take a while. OTTB can take quite a bit of work to fatten up, keep fat and get that topline.

Pollard is a great fattener, good old fashioned stuff that it is.

Others have already made work suggestions.

good luck